Did you get caught in the avalanche when you tried to get this free gift last weekend? Sorry about that “Sold Out” message. But not to worry. We’re all resupplied and good to go. Thanks for your patience! Carry on …
I love to discover a second use for something most of us have around the house or can easily find. Today’s first tip may give you a big surprise, but for sure a big laugh. By the way, this really works!
POTTY LINER. Line the bottom of baskets and pots with a disposable diaper (yes, clean and unused!) before you put in the potting soil and plants. This keeps the soil from rushing out of the drainage hole and helps retain soil moisture while still allowing the plant to drain. Stacy L., Connecticut
BETTER RUG GRIPPER. Recently I purchase a product, Rug Gripper, for my 5-ft x 3-ft kitchen rug, which was unsatisfactory because it didn’t work to keep the rug in place. I got the bright idea to use a roll of rubberized shelf liner, which I happened to have already. It worked great to keep the rug in place. I am very happy with the results. Florence F., California Continue reading
Your 780 credit score might not be as great as you think it is. It all depends on which credit score you’re talking about.
If you’re referring to a FICO score of 780 out of 850, that’s excellent but 780 is only so-so on the VantageScore model, which tops out at 990.
The eight most common credit scores used by lenders and consumers, range from as low as 150 to as high as 990. The most commonly used credit score (used by 90% of lenders and others who use credit scoring) is your FICO score (MyFico.com). Then the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax each have their own scores. TransUnion’s TransRisk score ranges from 300 to 850 and the Equifax Credit Score ranges from 280 to 850. Meanwhile, one of Experian’s scores ranges from 360 to 840 while another goes from 330 to 830. And then there’s the score the bureaus created together—the VantageScore—which ranges from 501 to 990. Continue reading
Over the years I’ve heard from dozens of readers who have lent money to friends and family members, only to have become outraged when the deal goes sour. The problem is they write to me after they’ve made the loan and have been waiting months, even years, for repayment, without success, hoping I can wave a magic wand to get their money back. I always tell these readers that I wish they’d written to me earlier, before they lent the money. Doing things right from the start makes all the difference in the end. Here’s how:
1. Embrace reality. Lend only the amount of money you can afford to give as a gift. Don’t tell your potential borrower this, but know in your heart that the chances of you ever being repaid in full are fairly slim. That’s a fact of life. There’s a reason this borrower is coming to you and not to a bank or conventional lender to borrow money. Continue reading
Through the years, I’ve hosted a number of what I would characterize very ambitious Bridal and Baby Showers. And a few months ago I would have told you that I’m done with that. Then I discovered a website, Pinterest, where members post pictures of cool stuff. Like ideas for Bridal and Baby Showers.
I can feel myself weakening, not because I know of anyone for whom I would like to host such an event, but because I’ve come across so many fabulous ideas for decorations, food, entertainment—and, of course, beverages—that I’m just dying to try!
While I can’t post pictures here, I can share my favorite party beverages old and new, that are just perfect for such occasions and by perfect I mean beautiful to look at and delicious to consume. Continue reading
Dear Mary: In one of your columns that I read years ago (Which Bills to Pay When You Cannot Pay Them All?), you recommended paying your rent (or mortgage) first because landlords are quick to evict. I just wanted to confirm this point, but also say that I wish I would have taken that advice to heart.
I’ve lived in the same house for over three years. I was evicted for being 18 days late, even though this was the first time I was ever late. I sent a certified letter to the landlord ahead of time explaining why I would be late.
ROBYN BECK / AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Since he didn’t respond to my explanation for why I would be paying late, I assumed it was acceptable. Instead, he sent me a Summons. It ended up costing me $900 in attorney fees and court costs and it is still costing me because I have my things in storage. Because I have an eviction on my record I cannot find anyone who will take me as a renter. I am basically homeless. Continue reading